It could be a Pink Cadillac or a ‘69 Chevy (with a 396, Fuelie heads, and a Hurst on the floor). Cars have long been associated with independence and the open road, and no car epitomizes newfound freedom quite like your first car. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone at CarGurus is a gearhead—although some certainly fit the description. Our team covers a wide range of responsibilities, from software engineering to business development, and recruiting to… well, somebody has to edit this blog, right? Simply put, if owning a garage filled with Pininfarina was a prerequisite for employment, we’d have a much harder time growing our staff. Continue reading >>>
I’m lucky I survived into adulthood.
I was like a baby sea turtle as a teenager. On their long journey from the nest to the ocean, seagulls snatch many little turtles up before they ever get a chance to thrive in the water. Baby sea turtles aren’t familiar with their surroundings and don’t know to be afraid. All they see is a flat beach and water on the horizon, and they try to get there as fast as they can.
Same with teenagers. Unleashed on the world with the ability to freely travel wherever they choose, they often forget, or don’t realize, that danger resides around every corner. I was reckless and aggressive as a teen driver, a truth I’m not proud of, but something that’s made me a better driver today.
With experience and technology, I hope we can greatly reduce the number of teen deaths on our roads. The problem is that safety costs a lot of money.
Remember your first time?
Mine was the culmination of a lot of searching, a lot of saving and then a long journey to find what I wanted.
The effort, time and money finally paid off when I experienced one of the greatest first times a young adult could possibly dream of: I bought my first car.
Actually, my first car was a truck and exactly what I wanted in a first vehicle. I bought it just as summer began and looked forward to many long days and warm nights of newly purchased freedom.
With a new summer dawning, plenty of teens and young adults will be considering their first vehicle purchase. What should they look for?
We all have one we wish we would have kept.
I was a mere baby when he had the Cougar, so hardly remember the car. I was a young teen when he had the Olds and have fond memories of helping with the restoration. (And by “helping,” I mean “standing in the garage and handing him tools.”)
The Toronado’s 385-hp, 425-cubic-inch V8 engine was rebuilt, the interior reupholstered in ivory leather, and the exterior painted Crystal Green. The finished product was stunning.
After all the restoration, Dad sold the car for $5,000.
We called it the War Pony.
With a name like that, you might expect something like an old muscle car, but no, this was a 1987 Ford Festiva. A red one, just like every other older Festiva. This particular car was owned by my friend Wesley, who bought it as his first. Wesley is a Navajo native and, when I knew him, routinely drove his car from his job in Seattle to his home on the Navajo reservation.
Wesley worked as a Navajo language professor at the University of Washington and had over 250,000 miles on the old War Pony. Considering his commute, that was a source of worry for me. I routinely asked him if he’d ever get rid of it in favor of something newer since he was, after all, making a college salary. He refused, because the War Pony served him well, and he had no desire to get rid of it.
I lost touch with Wesley about 10 years ago. This weekend I heard from him out of the blue, and you can guess my first question:
“Are you still driving the War Pony?”
My son is torn up about what he wants as his first car. Part of him wants me to hold onto my old ’04 Jaguar X-Type so he can have it when he turns 16, freeing me up to go get the F-Type after which I’ve lusted.
The other part of him wants to get a Toyota FJ Cruiser as his first car, something he’s had an eye on for the last couple months and excitedly points out anytime he catches sight of one.
He’s genuinely concerned about this dilemma and doesn’t know which car to choose. The kicker here?